North Jersey News Roundup for March 31, 2020

Gov. Phil Murphy increased the type of businesses allowed to operate in the state. Among those allowed to offer their services are car dealerships, real estate agents, breweries and gun shops. Additionally, officials detailed how social distancing has worked when it comes to the need of hospital beds.

Coronavirus outbreaks at the state’s nursing homes claimed 34 lives as of March 30, including eight each at the Lakeland Health Care Center in Wanaque and the Family of Caring facility in Montclair. Infections were reported at more than 70 of the state’s 375 long-term care facilities. The Record

Ten hospitals across New Jersey diverted patients March 30 at various times throughout the day, citing patient volume. Among those facilities were Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck, which declined admissions into its critical care unit. Hospitals “divert” after alerting the state Health Department they are taking a four-hour break from accepting new patients.

Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura tested positive for the coronavirus. Fontoura, who serves as the county’s emergency management coordinator as well, is believed to have a mild case of the contagious virus and is feeling well at home.

Rutgers has created a new COVID-19 center to help fight the pandemic. The center will serve as a hub for the university’s research on the novel coronavirus and to disseminate information. Researchers are working on environment and personal protection equipment decontamination as well as looking at new therapies and vaccine developments.

Hoboken will revise its proposed budget as fee-based revenues are not meeting expectations and overtime expenses are rising. The shortfalls and expenditures will add to a budget deficit estimated that could climb to $15 million with officials considering delaying projects until next year to laying off employees to balance its budget. The Jersey Journal

The Mountain Lakes Board of Education discovered a budget shortfall of $1.5 million. Layoffs and other actions are being considered after an internal review of the 2018-19 budget flagged incoming revenues were incorrectly credited as refunds to an expense line. The Daily Record

Hoboken has the top participation rate in Hudson County of residents filling out the 2020 Census form at 31.6%. Secaucus is second at 27.3%, followed by Kearny at 27.2%, while Jersey City has reported a rate of 21.4%. The state average is 30.8%. The Jersey Journal

An uneven sidewalk that caused a man to break his leg is the responsibility of the borough of Hasbrouck Heights, a state appeals court ruled in reversing a lower court decision. The appellate panel said the main question was whether the sidewalk gap was so obvious that the borough “in the exercise of due care, should have discovered the condition and its dangerous character,” especially since it existed for at least 13 years. The Record

And finally…The robotics teacher at Newtown High School is making protective face shields for doctors and nurses using a 3-D printer in the basement of his home. New Jersey Herald

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